Putting the 'role' back in role-playing games since 2002.
Good Old Games
Donate to Codex
News Content Gallery About Donate Discord Contact
  • Welcome to rpgcodex.net, a site dedicated to discussing computer based role-playing games in a free and open fashion. We're less strict than other forums, but please refer to the rules.

    "This message is awaiting moderator approval": All new users must pass through our moderation queue before they will be able to post normally. Until your account has "passed" your posts will only be visible to yourself (and moderators) until they are approved. Give us a week to get around to approving / deleting / ignoring your mundane opinion on crap before hassling us about it. Once you have passed the moderation period (think of it as a test), you will be able to post normally, just like all the other retards.

Bard's Tale The Bard's Tale Series

Sceptic

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Mar 2, 2010
Messages
10,812
Divinity: Original Sin
Merde, you are playing fast! I like to take it slow and smell the the blood of my vanquished enemies and enjoy the great architecture of the dungeons.
I'm in Dargoth's Tower actually :M

It's not that I'm playing fast, it's the amount of time I"m sinking in it... I had some things that HAD to be done yesterday. I did get them done. Otherwise I did nothing but play BT2, with quick (very quick) breaks for food and the bathroom. I was up until 2am playing, and I must've spent 10h on the game yesterday alone. I don't remember the last time a game grabbed me this hard and just would not let go. I think it was DOS, but even with that I could take breaks more frequently (I was also busier though). It's certainly much more engaging than BT1 and I think the reduced encounters have something to do with it.

The Tombs dungeon is trolling me, though. I'm trying to get out, but instead I'm getting sent down!
The tombs do troll quite hard. I'm surprised they're easier than DD4 though, since DD4 is supposedly the starter dungeon that gets your party ready for the "real" game. That's pretty bad balancing, since completing DD even with a fresh party will trivialize the tombs. The SP recharging squares are great, I found another one in Fanskar's. With mage staves on and Duotime playing I get back my SP super quick.

1.The map has a typo, and I failed to answer a riddle to which I'm sure the answer should be "Philippi". I instead wrote Phillippi, since due to the typo on the map ("Phillppi) I was not sure of the spelling.
Hah, I got completely stuck on this one. The name seemed a bit odd on the map though so I googled it and found the much more reasonable spelling. Still, this was a bad mistake, and I"m surprised they didn't include a txt erratum or something on the floppy.

2. The spell icons don't update correctly. Both Levitate and Locate Traps expire, but their incons linger. Damned annoying!
I did have a very odd moment walking out of the tombs, when I stepped on what I knew where antimagic squares and my spells didn't get dispelled. Specifically MACO was still working as if nothing happened (not just icon visible, it actually works).
Also, I found that segment 2 casts YMCA. And there was much rejoicing.

In BT3 there as a Bard Song that prevented enemy summonings, but after a looking through the list of spells and bard songs I can't find anything similar in BT2.
It's Sir Robin's Tune in BT3. I looked at the manuals and it's the new song for that game, all the others there are lifted from BT2. Of course they went ahead and flipped around the order of the songs again. I really wish I had Sir Robin's right now, though I'm effortlessly running away from most encounters, so no big deal I guess.

Heh, in DOS version of BT2 it looks like when the Levitate spell expires it is the Armour icon that disappears.
Is this LEVI? MALE seems to work fine. But then neither it nor YMCA ever really expire...

Starting BT1 today. Got my graph paper. Got the original manual from my C64 version for spell reference. I've never been so excited to play a 30 year old game.
:salute: Have fun. I just went through it, and while it's inferior to BT2, it's still good fun.
 

Sceptic

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Mar 2, 2010
Messages
10,812
Divinity: Original Sin
"Number 9 likes his favorite wine."
I cannot even begin to guess what this one is.
EDIT: Oh FFS. Spent half an hour unable to figure it out, then I do a minute after posting.

Just read the past few pages, and the mere thought alone of having to press 'Enter' 692 times (at least) to dispatch ONE combat encounter makes my skin crawl.
You just keep it pressed and it scrolls by much faster :P
BT2 is by far the superior game and so far none of the fights have been against 396 of this or 99 of that. Combat is FAR less of a focus than the first game. It's really very very good if you enjoy mapping and dungeon-crawling grid-based blobbers.
 
Last edited:

octavius

Arcane
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
16,946
Location
Bjørgvin
Started exploring the lowest level of The Tombs and things got a bit more challenging. Liches and Medarchs keep summoning creatures that actually can hurt my party.

I did have a very odd moment walking out of the tombs, when I stepped on what I knew where antimagic squares and my spells didn't get dispelled. Specifically MACO was still working as if nothing happened (not just icon visible, it actually works).

I wondered if there was only a percentage chance of antimagic squares negating spells, but maybe it's just the icons not updating properly. Weird that the Bard's Tale games should be so riddled with these stupid bugs? Didn't they play test the games?

Also, I found that segment 2 casts YMCA. And there was much rejoicing.

p18mkuv61g16kqfvr186j1s1n1eg44.png
 

Sceptic

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Mar 2, 2010
Messages
10,812
Divinity: Original Sin
Bugs in my Bard's Tale? :P Well if they playtested and didn't notice that BT3 didn't drop harmonic gems, didn't clear encounter squares, enemies don't use their special abilities, and god drifting knows what else, I'd have to worry about the substances the testers were using...

Anyway I'm in the Maze of Dread and I just got my Sword of Zar :smug: It was foreshadowed back in the tower, I'm not sure what the battletest was but I assume it was the fight against the 7 statues on level 2. Speaking of the tower I ran out of time in the snare trying to figure out what to do, took me until the 2nd try and a more careful reading of the clues to figure out what to do about the magic mouth. The last "wisdom" it gives you is hilarious :lol:

I wish I HAD made a 7th PC now. The only 2 NPCs so far have been in the starter dungeon and in the tombs. The next 3 dungeons seem completely NPC-free. On the bright side I picked up a dragon back in the tower and he kicks ass. -9 AC, 100-150 damage if I keep him in the front line, breath attack that does ~100 damange to a group if I keep him in the back.... and of course 8 slots to carry stuff. I almost decided to start a monk or mage, but I doubt they'll ever get to be as useful as the dragon before the game ends, so I'm keeping him. And if I get bored with him I can just replace him with any other monster or summon. My wizards are level 12 now so I can summon the greater demons, should be fun.

I also made the brilliant realization that I should NOT have given the Spectre Snare to my hunter, because it causes crits. So I had my paladin use it while the hunter had Kael's Axe and they were both critting left and right. Now that the hunter has the Sword of Zar things should get even more fun. I wonder if the game will ever actually get difficult combat-wise, or if I'll always be ahead of the curve. Between YMCA and song #3 all frontliners run around with AC around -15 to -20, which makes them virtually unhittable. Song #5 regenerates 8 HP/round in combat, just in case someone does get hit they regen it very fast (troll rings are useless as a result, been using shield rings instead). Between Spellsong and the paladin leader everyone almost always repels spells. The only things that can cause trouble are things like Slayers who can crit me and therefore one-shot PCs. I don't mind the easy combat though because fuck me if this doesn't have some of the best designed dungeons of the DOS era. I have no idea what I was smoking when I didn't praise it in the past.

Anyway it's 4am now and I should go to bed. Goddamn this game.
 

octavius

Arcane
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
16,946
Location
Bjørgvin
You're way ahead of me, so I will have to wait with commenting in more detail.

In the meantime I finally learnt the MIBL spell. Only problem is splling it correctly:
cunF1Al.png
 

octavius

Arcane
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
16,946
Location
Bjørgvin
I discovered the BANE of the new distance system in combat: herbs. If one gets summoned and there's a spot for more summons, it's time to restore the game. Not because they're any threat, but because I don't think there's a way to win the fight with my party setup. A herb always summons more of itself, and always at 60'. So if I try to close in on one, it'll just summon another one another 60' away by the time I get close. If I try to kill them from a distance, I can get one down... at which point the other promptly summons a 3rd, ad nauseam. I just run when I see one now.

I just met my first Herbs, summoned by an Evil Mage and I ran. They have more than 200 HP, so if I really want to kill them I risk burning up all my spell points. Annoying buggers!
 

hjustin

Novice
Joined
Apr 13, 2013
Messages
5
It looks like this isn't going to work. Trying to play the game, launched from the inXile 2004 BT, constant audio issues and it sometimes locks up. Running on Windows 8.1, 64-bit. Did a little digging and supposedly BT1 won't run on a 64-bit OS. I really don't have room to setup my C64 rig and would rather play one of the other versions (IIGS preferably). How are you guys playing these games? Are you having any technical issues?
 

octavius

Arcane
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
16,946
Location
Bjørgvin
Easiest is to get DOS versions from some Abandonware or fan site, and use DOSBox.

If you want the very best versions of BT1 and 2, you should get the Apple II GS versions and use an emulator. The GS versions are the best looking ones, along with the Amiga versions, and AFAIK they are (unlike most other versions) bug free.
 

hjustin

Novice
Joined
Apr 13, 2013
Messages
5
Played for about an hour with no issues and then it locked up on me. Discovered upon reload that saving the party doesn't actually save your progress. Apparently you have to remove your party or leave the game. I don't remember this much fuss when I played the C64 version but that was almost 30 years ago. So going to get DOSBox fired up and try that route. Yeesh.
 

Sceptic

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Mar 2, 2010
Messages
10,812
Divinity: Original Sin
Adventurer's Guild has the best versions of the games that I've found, because they're "untampered" meaning they zipped them straight off a fresh install, with the A-team party intact and nothing else changed.

"Save party" doesn't save the game, it just saves the party organization as an entry in the character listing, so you can go "add character" and then just click the party name to have all 6 added at once. It does absolutely nothing else. The only sure-fire way to save is to enter the AG and leave game, then reboot it. Either that or save states if in DOSBox or an emulator, though even if you do use save states I recommend hard-saving once in a while too.

I actually typed MIBL in as MIFL a couple of times :lol:
 

octavius

Arcane
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
16,946
Location
Bjørgvin
Just finished The Tombs. Lowest level took its time since I had to head up to the surface to replenish spell points often.
But I'm really suffering from a gold shortage in this game. It's so bad I don't have enough money to pay for my second sorceror's lvl 7 spells, so his class change is postponed while he gathers "useless" XP.
Neither have I money to buy the Master Key, which I think is needed to enter Fanskar's Fortress.
So what is the solution?
Yup, that's right: pawn the first Segment!
 

Sceptic

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Mar 2, 2010
Messages
10,812
Divinity: Original Sin
You actually sold it? :lol:
I don't think I'll ever have a gold problem. Although bribing the sage for Oscon's whereabouts cost me 150k, it's barely a dent in the money I imported, since beating Mangar gives you a total of 1.8M gold, on top of what I've been gathering in BT2.
Of course, as soon as I logged into the game today I decided to ditch the dragon and created another conjurer. He leveled up hilariously fast. He'll never catch up to the other mages obviously, he's a good million and a half XP behind, but I got him to level 13 conjurer VERY quickly and he's almost maxed out as magician too, so he's got a good HP pool, though he still dies first when things go hairy. I already found him a Conjurstaff (which I had been saving for the Geomancer in BT3), but I need 2 more Magestaves now. And of course I found a bunch earlier on and just sold all of them... The great news is that my main mages are now full Wizards, and have gone to the opposite starting class so I expect my first level of archmage soon. Just in time too because fights have taken a turn for the nasty in Oscon's. Sword of Zar is awesome though, at least once I figured out how to use it as a ranged weapon. The hunter crit sadly doesn't work at range, but it's a great way to kill a ranged caster while the rest of the party deals with the melee enemies.
The snare is expected to be annoying though, since if I interpret the clues right you've got to have 3 empty NPC slots to tackle it. The mages will be useless since the snares are antimagic, but they're the ones who actually need the XP. I wonder if I should take all 3 of them and fill the ranks with summons...
BTW what's up with Van Figurine? I can't find any class that can use it.
 

octavius

Arcane
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
16,946
Location
Bjørgvin
Taking a short break to write this. I finished the Tombs, which were great, and I am now cursing and swearing at the FUCKING DARK ZONE in Fanskar's Castle :argh: THE WHOLE THING is a dark AND antimagic zone. And I swear there are spinners in there because otherwise my map makes no sense, but of course I have no way of checking because dark AND antimagic. I hate this level. I think this might be where I quit the game the first time.

He he, this is where I realized I loved BT2.
So I gather you found no Nospen Rings in BT1, then? I'm not quite sure they actually existed in BT1, though.
Anyways, there are definitely spinners in that zone. You can get a lay of the land by using the Second Sight spell to locate the spinners that are up to three squares into that zone, but unfortunately the whole zone is much bigger than that. But it's not all anti-magic squares, and you can also locate some of those squares by using the SS spell.

I wonder if Phase Door and APAR works? Then I can "burrow" through to the north side of the map.
It looks like the whole AM+D zone may be cross shaped, with four "towers" in the corners.
EDIT: no, they didn't work.

Incidentally Fanskar's Castle is the first place some monsters (most notably Brass Dragons) are able to directly (ie not through summons) hurt me after DD4.
Thank Cranford for that Zanduvar Carack song! It's a life saver in the anti-magic zone when you got lost!

DO you have to do the dungeons in order? Of course I do because each dungeon clues you on what to ask the Sage to find the next one, but I don't remember finding anything in the Tombs that helped me get into Fanskar's, unless you can't get the next segment without having the previous ones.

I don't think you have to do them in order.
Have you tried entering the Grey Crypt?

There are things in the Tombs that help you get into Fanskar's. You need the Master Key (maybe you already had one from BT1), and there is a mage that tells you what to ask the Sage if you answer his riddle.
 
Last edited:

Sceptic

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Mar 2, 2010
Messages
10,812
Divinity: Original Sin
I STILL haven't found a Nospen ring. Everyone is fully decked out with the best stuff, but not that one ring.

I did start relying on SESI around that time, the antimagic zones are in single rows so in-between SESI works, as does MACO, so it wasn't as crazy as I thought it'd be. The central part (which I think is surrounding where the snare actually is) is several rows of antimagic though. But flashing Watchwood works wonders - if you suspect a square is a spinner, stand on it and flash a few times, if it really does spin you'll eventually see something else because each flash spins you. In some ways mapping gets easier because you not only get new tools (spells) to work with, but you learn to adapt the tools you have. This is what I did in the Grey Crypt too, using the 5th segment casts ALL the buffs; naturally the crypts are antimagic so they all go away... except GRRE because it's technically light and not magic, which frees me to have Zanduvar active on the bard, negating the need for MALE (which won't work no matter what).

I never tried PHDO or APAR since I didn't know where I was going. If APAR works it'll triviliaze the whole place. But in my case I needed to map all the dark zone since there's a clue buried in there. Spoiler: the dark zone is T-shaped, not a cross. If you're getting a cross, you spun out of control somewhere (har har).

The songs are super useful in general. Zanduvar is amazing, it's a free MALE when you can't cast spells, and a better one too. With MALE you sometimes do hit the trap, but Zanduvar seems to be a 100% chance to avoid them. And the regeneration in combat is insane, it's up to 12 HP/round now. Sanctuary is giving a 3 AC bonus. I don't know how well Spellsong works, but I use it against casters and breathers. And of course Duotime is great, faster mana regen... and from what I can see it CREATES mana regen. Drifting (my newest mage of course. Had to give him that honour) didn't have a mage staff and was still getting 1 SP, while the other mages got 2 (this was indoors). The great thing about Sanctuary and Zanduvar's regen is that they seem to depend (as in BT1 for the AC song) on the dungeon you're in, not the bard's level, so they improve when you need them even if you're running away all the time and not getting much XP as a result.

I had a master key from BT1, but I either sold it or it didn't import because I didn't have it here, but I just bought one in the tombs.

I finished Oscon and dipped into the crypts. Running Oscon with only the mages was super easy, I had an army of summons to defend me and ran away from every single encounter except one (required) anyway. The snare was odd - I don't think there's any clue in what order the NPCs have to be so I was stuck for a bit there, and for the last part, I accidentally went through the door and solved it before realizing what the solution was. The crypts seem easy so far. Enemies are starting to actually be able to touch me, but the songs are absurdly powerful and I'm very well equipped. And besides just because everything's antimagic doesn't mean my mages are useless - one has a ring of power, another has the 3rd segment that casts a group-focused spell, and they all have dragonshields and dragonwands. Fun fact: magic items don't count as spells for the purpose of antimagic squares. Breath attacks also work, so my Frost Horn is still seeing good use. I might ditch it though, now that HP bloat is starting to set in - I just got a Flame Horn, which from what I can see does a boatload more damage.

I keep worrying that the game will nosedive, that combat will suddenly becomes as tedious as in Mangar's, that I'll run into 99 of this and 99 of that, but no, so far it has been nothing short of a great crawler. It definitely deserves some more love. I honestly have no idea why I quit the game the first time - I thought it was combat but it's much more balanced than in BT1, I thought it was the snares but they've been pretty fun. Maybe it's not the game, it was me. I'm almost certain I didn't play it to the end though. In BT1 I kept getting flashbacks and "oh yeah I remember this level" moments, but nothing here since Fanskar's. I wonder what I'll think of BT3 and what I'll remember of it.
 

octavius

Arcane
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
16,946
Location
Bjørgvin
But flashing Watchwood works wonders - if you suspect a square is a spinner, stand on it and flash a few times, if it really does spin you'll eventually see something else because each flash spins you. In some ways mapping gets easier because you not only get new tools (spells) to work with, but you learn to adapt the tools you have.

One thing that is a bit lame is that the SCSI spell (as well as TRZP) works in anti-magic squares.
When I learnt that things got a bit easier.
Still, it took a bloody long time to map the whole thing, partly because I was not thorough enough at the start, and partly because the encounter frequency increased quite a bit compared to the previous dungeons.
And then when you finally enter the Snare, it's all anti-magic, anti-bard and full of nasty traps. Two of my characters died, including my wizard who can now finally resurrect the dead. Gold is still a problem; I don't have enough for lvl 7 spells for my current Conjurer, so he'll wait with turning into a wizard.

But I got a new friend:
hSp4USe.png


His AC is rather low, though, and he doesn't cast any useful spells, so I'll have to drop him for a Red Dragon. The Master Mage is potentially the best summon, since he cast (I think) Mangar's Mallet sometimes, but more often he casts summon spells. And he only has like 25 HP.
The Red Dragon is a reliable little braether.
Maybe I should have spell bound Fanskar's draconian friend instead?

It's funny, but the only thing I remember distinctly from Fanskar's Fortress was A Friend and Bodyguard.
But that also means it's almost like playing the game for the first time.

I never tried PHDO or APAR since I didn't know where I was going. If APAR works it'll triviliaze the whole place.

"Fortunately" they didn't work.

The songs are super useful in general. Zanduvar is amazing, it's a free MALE when you can't cast spells, and a better one too. With MALE you sometimes do hit the trap, but Zanduvar seems to be a 100% chance to avoid them. And the regeneration in combat is insane, it's up to 12 HP/round now. Sanctuary is giving a 3 AC bonus. I don't know how well Spellsong works, but I use it against casters and breathers. And of course Duotime is great, faster mana regen... and from what I can see it CREATES mana regen. Drifting (my newest mage of course. Had to give him that honour) didn't have a mage staff and was still getting 1 SP, while the other mages got 2 (this was indoors).

Yeah, that's my experience too. Songs also seem to stack, so if you sing Zanduvar in several rounds, the healing will be even better.
Unethical gamers will of course use this to heal using Party Combat.

The great thing about Sanctuary and Zanduvar's regen is that they seem to depend (as in BT1 for the AC song) on the dungeon you're in, not the bard's level, so they improve when you need them even if you're running away all the time and not getting much XP as a result.

Now that I hadn't noticed.
 

Sceptic

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Mar 2, 2010
Messages
10,812
Divinity: Original Sin
One thing that is a bit lame is that the SCSI spell (as well as TRZP) works in anti-magic squares.
Oh yeah I forgot to mention I had noticed SCSI was working. It made mapping Fanskar's Castle, as well as a couple of rooms in Dargoth's and now the crypts, MUCH easier. I'm not sure it's a bad thing though :P

Still, it took a bloody long time to map the whole thing, partly because I was not thorough enough at the start, and partly because the encounter frequency increased quite a bit compared to the previous dungeons.
I haven't felt this, but then the frequency's a bit odd. Sometimes I get 2-3 encounters back-to-back, sometimes I map half the level without even one triggering, and when ones does I just run away. I don't mind that, my fighters are already above level 20 (I stopped checking :P I only check if I can level them up when I'm in there to level up the mages now). I'm a little worried about the insane amount of XP I'll need to level up the Archmages past 13 though, if it works like the other classes, each level after this will need as much XP as getting from 1 to 13... which for Archmage is 4M... That's probably where I'll stop getting any HP or SP to speak of.

And then when you finally enter the Snare, it's all anti-magic, anti-bard and full of nasty traps. Two of my characters died, including my wizard who can now finally resurrect the dead. Gold is still a problem; I don't have enough for lvl 7 spells for my current Conjurer, so he'll wait with turning into a wizard.
The only reason gold isn't a problem for me is how much I started with from importing. I shudder to think about the grinding if you're playing fair and paying the oracle with a fresh party. I had to fork over another 150k for the grey crypts... Also, I think you can sequence break, but not if you're playing fairly. Every dungeon after the tombs asks you something to get in that you're not really supposed to know unless you've been doing the dungeons in order, and finding the clue in each dungeon (and usually, also asking the sage about it).

Oh and that snare was fun. It's pretty easy to figure which door is NOT the right one, but that leaves you two to choose, and the clue for this one is a little more obscure, though since there aren't any outright lying clues it didn't take me long to figure it out. Traps tickle my party with the amount of HP they have.

Maybe I should have spell bound Fanskar's draconian friend instead?
Running around with A Friend as the NPC would've been hilarious :lol:

Speaking of which. Could you do me a favour and spoil something for me, namely, if you remember, which snares in BT2 require an empty slot, and which worlds (or dungeons) in BT3 either require one, or actually provide you with a story one? I remember the first world in BT3 let someone join you (Hawkwind? or was that only in Ultima? is this one Hawkslayer?), but does he actually have anything to say (or do) if you take him? Any others later on you can remember, since IIRC you didn't play BT3 that long aog?

"Fortunately" they didn't work.
Probably like Kylearan's, they are deactivated in one-level dungeons (which makes sense) I do like that APAR always works on the way out. Oscon is a long dungeon, and you can only APAR/PHDO on level 1 (handy for quickly getting to level 2 on repeat visits), but you APAR back out from even level 4. Mangar's was the same IIRC, as is Dargoth here, you can APAR into level 3 but also out from level 5. I wish you didn't have on repeat visits to hit both the magic mouth and then find the stairs again every time, but at least getting out is quick and easy.
On that topic, I loved the elevator in Maze of Dread (though I didn't love the dungeon, and the snare was tedious and pointless). Funny thing about too is that there are normal stairs. I'd have loved if they had such an elevator in every dungeon, near the entrance, controlled by how far you've made it on a previous visit, but I don't think the engine can handle remembering the state of levels (and can't save them).

Yeah, that's my experience too. Songs also seem to stack, so if you sing Zanduvar in several rounds, the healing will be even better.
Sanctuary stacks indefinitely (also in BT1) but I don't think Zanduvar does here? It didn't in BT1, but then it also didn't scale. I'll try it again.

Unethical gamers will of course use this to heal using Party Combat.
Nope, I have my standards :monocle:
I do take the opportunity to slaughter helpless single-opponents while my bard heals everyone back to fulll...
Speaking of, in BT3 there's a song that actually does damage. Presumably Admiral jimbob's voice is so screechy he ruptures enemies' eardrums and they bleed to death. I can't wait.

Now that I hadn't noticed.
You're probably leveling up too fast to notice it. But try it out in the wilderness, and then again in the next dungeon you're going in (I think you're at Dargoth?).

I am super happy, I am back home, have nothing planned for tonight, which means I'm spending the next few hours on BT2.

BTW Gregz you mentioned I think that you've not played BT2-3? I think you should, at least, play BT2. If you liked BT1 as much as I think you did then you'll love this one. Octavius will support my claim too! (I think...)
 

Gregz

Arcane
Joined
Jul 31, 2011
Messages
7,588
Location
The Desert Wasteland
BTW Gregz you mentioned I think that you've not played BT2-3? I think you should, at least, play BT2. If you liked BT1 as much as I think you did then you'll love this one. Octavius will support my claim too! (I think...)

I may. I remember playing them for at least a few hours each but bailed out because I was quite the graphicsfag back then. I just couldn't stomach a sequel with graphics inferior to its predecessor. Now I'm all about gameplay, so I should probably revisit them at some point.
 

octavius

Arcane
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
16,946
Location
Bjørgvin
Could you do me a favour and spoil something for me, namely, if you remember, which snares in BT2 require an empty slot, and which worlds (or dungeons) in BT3 either require one, or actually provide you with a story one? I remember the first world in BT3 let someone join you (Hawkwind? or was that only in Ultima? is this one Hawkslayer?), but does he actually have anything to say (or do) if you take him? Any others later on you can remember, since IIRC you didn't play BT3 that long aog?

Unfortunately I don't recall anything of the Snares in BT2, except the first one (maybe I'll recall some of them when I get there). In BT3 I'm 99% sure Hawkslayer will join you again in the Dwarven world (Ferofist's), and that's it. I think Hawkslayer and Hawkwind of the Wizardry, Ultima and BT games are supposed to be the same character and they are all based on Roe Adams' RPG character. He was like a CRPG "roadie" who took the step to become a designer with Wizardry IV.
Speaking of Wizardry, a variant of the second Puzzle Snare was also used in Wiz 4, but as you probably know the three door puzzle is an ancient puzzle.
The first level of Dargoth's Tower also reminds me of levels in Wiz 1 and Wiz 4.
 

Sceptic

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Mar 2, 2010
Messages
10,812
Divinity: Original Sin
Thanks for the hints. I was reading Scopira's reviews of the trilogy and she had some hints in her BT2 review as to which snares need NPCs. It's really only the tombs, oscon's and the last one, the destiny stone. I'll probably still explore the dungeon with my 3rd mage and only dump him before I do the snare. For BT3, I'll keep a slot open for those 2 worlds, otherwise I'm running with my 7-man party. With how cluttered my inventory is I do wish I'd gone with a monk and used him as a pack mule, but I think I'll be happier with a 2nd archmage in BT3, not to mention I won't need the inventory space as much anymore. Though a 4th frontliner would've certainly been useful, since you were right and Zanduvar's healing stacks. 48 HP/round sure is fun! Not to mention BT3 has an offensive bard song, so I'm never going to use him to actually attack from now on. And even if he's not singing.... Flame Horn time. I'm quite amazed that there are actually so many different party compositions that can work in BT2, without any being so clearly superior.

I'd forgotten about Roe Adams, he's the reason there's a Skara Brae in both Ultima and BT too, isn't he?
 

octavius

Arcane
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
16,946
Location
Bjørgvin
Yes, I think he's the guy behind Skara Brae too. Funny thing is I never knew about him and his influence until I played Wiz 4 half a year ago. I always thought Hawkwind was a nod to the rock band, for example.

For BT3 I have two tips:

1. Using imported characters is something I would seriously consider doing if I ever were to replay it. The starter dungeon is the weakest dungeon in the game.
Also the whole procedure of beefing you up is done in a rather heavy handed way. BT2 did it more elegantly.

2. Run away a lot. The encounter frequency can be maddening, even if it's now only checked when moving and turning.
The game never gets challenging combatwise if you get all the XP from random encounters.

Some people claim BT3 was the hardest of the Bard's Tale games. That can only be due to lack of Dragon Stones in bugged versions, resulting is severe spell points shortage. In the patched version that is no problem. In the bugged versions monsters had no special attacks, though, so you wouldn't need to use that much magic to kill them (only use more time).
 
Last edited:

Sceptic

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Mar 2, 2010
Messages
10,812
Divinity: Original Sin
I'm already applying both tips, without having reached BT3 :P
In fact I try to run from every fight now. I only do those where running fails. It keeps the pace quite quick, and you get a ton of XP from fights anyway, even easy ones. My main mages are both archmages now, and the new addition just converted to Wizard. He's got a long way to go though.
What I really wish I'd one is start an LP of the whole trilogy when I started BT1. It would've been quite fun and would've slowed me down a bit. If I'd thought of it earlier during BT1 I'd have done so back then, but I don't feel like replaying both BT1 and most of BT2 so quickly after having reached almost the end.
Gregz's graphicwhoring reminded me I wanted to say this ever since I started BT2: why is it graphically so much uglier than BT1? A lot of the assets are reused and those are fine, but things like the image of loot chests, the little vignette in the AG, are much uglier than their BT1 counterparts. Also, sound is painful. Despite being the usual PC speaker I kept sound on throughout BT1, it was a good way to know when songs were running out. In BT2 most of the songs make my ears bleed.

Anyway I'm trying to get past the mage in Colosse (whom I suspect is guarding the last fragment dungeon). I know which clues to look at, but I cannot figure out how to interpret them.
 

octavius

Arcane
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
16,946
Location
Bjørgvin
Hmm...haven't really noticed a drop in graphics quality from BT1, but the drop from BT2 to BT3 is more dramatic. The sound is about as comfortably as listening to some "R&B" bimbo "soulfully" moaning her guts out. I keep the sound at at the absolute minimum required for me to hear it. I should have played the Amiga version with its far superior sound, but the Amiga version is just too slow.

BTW, I think I figured out what the "Something odd!" messages mean. These squares affect your Second Sight or similar spells. Seems to reduce their range to only one square or something.

Oh, and too bad you didn't do that LP.
I think there was an LP on Something Awful, but I can't find it now (probably need to pay to access it now anyway), nor other LPs of the game.
 

Sceptic

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Mar 2, 2010
Messages
10,812
Divinity: Original Sin
Oh I see, they're like white noise that interferes with SESI. Makes sense. I don't hugely rely on SESI TBH. All secret doors look like normal doors to me with GRRE, I bypass all traps with either the song or with MALE, and you have to step on every square anyway, including HP and SP draining ones, in case they have something important. SESI is hugely useful in dark zones though, I rely on it to find spinners, and in Oscon's IIRC it makes it much easier to find the stairs up in that dark zone where the stairs are surrounded by spinners.

Yeah it's when I realized there aren't any LPs here or in the LP archive. There is an LP there of the new one, and it links to an SA LP of the old trilogy, but I obviously can't get it.

Also, I am completely stuck at the Strange Mage in Colosse. I don't want to try to google hints because I get the feeling it'll give me a walkthrough that outright spoils the solution, and I don't want that. If you remember the password, and could give me just a gentle nudge, I'd appreciate it. I've included the relevant hints from the tombs (though I might've missed some others) in the spoiler tag.

The strange mage wants two words: What Tr. did, in answer to the paradox, and what word he said at the end of things.
The great T had, at the end of things, to beg, with a kind word.
He was told to burn, and in that paradox knew a multitude of solutions.
The great one knew success at all points. Defeat was never etched on his destiny.
Trachaem's task was always reversed. This is the paradox.

Oh and super good news: I have a Nospen Ring now!
 
Top Bottom